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Hiroshima for Global Peace

Q4 Was there any friction during the reconstruction process?

Hiroshima’s reconstruction was led by local governments, such as prefectural and city governments, and sometimes their actions alienated local residents.
Black markets were established in front of Hiroshima Station immediately after the war – an area that was filled with clusters of illegal constructions that often caused massive fires. In March 1949, fires caused about 100 houses and 500 shops to burn. And from 1955 to 1957, the area experienced great fires, which badly burned
several dozen homes and shops every year. This made measures for eliminating illegal constructions a pressing issue. However, resolving the issue through talks between Hiroshima City and local residents proved challenging. In September 1957, the city authority carried out compulsory evictions accompanied by the police. In 1965, the Hiroshima Station Building with seven stories and one underground story was completed and the reconstruction in this area was almost settled.
In Moto-machi district, southwest of Hiroshima Castle, there was an expanse of former military land. A total of 1,815 public housing units were built there, including temporary housing units built by the City by around 1947. However, illegal homes were also built in the area and reached 2,500 in number in 1949. By 1960 or so, another 900 makeshift shacks lined up along Aioi Street which stretched along the riverbank, and at the time was referred to as an “A-bomb Slum.” This area also suffered from frequent
After 1954, in Moto-machi district, construction plans for a bus terminal, a baseball stadium (the former Hiroshima Municipal Baseball Stadium), and 53 four-story municipal housing buildings had been proceeding and so the city had to procure sites for these projects as soon as possible. Particularly, the city tried to secure a site for the baseball stadium by relocating decrepit municipal housing. However, 800 residents formed an alliance against the evictions in December of that year. This led the city government to finally decide to build the stadium outside the municipal housing district. It was completed in July 1957, and adored by citizens as the home of the local professional baseball team, the Hiroshima Toyo Carp.
Eventually, the redevelopment of the Moto-machi district was carried out, by both the prefectural and city governments, as a housing improvement project rather than a war damage reconstruction project. The problems associated with illegal buildings were finally solved when 2,600 shacks were removed between fiscal years 1969 and 1974. Then, 8-to20-story high-rise housing buildings (accommodating 2,805 families) were completed in 1978 by the prefectural and city governments and the Housing Corporation. Today, these high-rise housing buildings are called evocative of Hiroshima’s reconstruction history.






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Street address:10-52, Motomachi, Naka-ku, Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima-ken, 730-8511